Our ride into Sturgis looked like it might have been doomed. Sash and I were stranded on the side of Interstate 90, out in the middle of nowhere, still another hour's ride into Rapid City, and it was 99 degrees F (37.2 C) outside under the blazing sun.
"What the Hell is taking them so long!" Sash said, referring to the AAA tow truck driver.
"Well, it's still 75 miles from Rapid City, it's probably going to take them an hour and a half to get here", I said.
Sash got back on the phone to call AAA. Their computers already showed us as having been picked up and towed.
"No, we're still sitting here!!" she said.
It turned out our tow truck driver found a different stranded vehicle on the road and thought we were them. They had to dispatch another tow truck driver out of Rapid City again.
Despite the flat tire that sidelined Sash and I, the day started out hopeful.
We left Mitchell, SD with Kevin Bean're following us in the back. I got our speed up to 80-85 MPH westbound along the I-90, passing scores of motorcycle riders (mostly on Harleys), while some others passed us by. It was beautiful day, a little on the hot side, but the wind made it feel OK.
At that speed, Sash's little Yamaha V-Star 650 is pretty much doing all it can, especially with the 150 pounds of baggage weight on her bike and the moderate side wind hitting us. Under those conditions, I figured she'd need gas stops every 100-110 miles. She's been able to get 150 miles range in more ideal scenarios.
If you've never ridden with Bean're along the Interstate, he's a pretty cool guy to ride with. He knows all the ins and outs of group riding, employs great courtesy, and loves to have his photo taken on his bike.
You might be familiar with Bean're if you've attended a lot of biker rallies, which I have not. But apparently he's been a fixture at Sturgis decade after decade. A book has been written about him. He's been covered in numerous magazines, featured in television shows, and is now producing his own television series. He's effectively a full time nomad. Living from his bike, getting food and accommodations with whomever is willing put him up, and earning some money just for showing up at various events. At Sturgis, he's the "Mayor of Fun" at The Legendary Buffalo Chip.
Well, I was leading the three of us, when I looked in my mirror and didn't see Sash and Bean're anywhere. I pulled over to the side, and a guy on a motorcycle passed me by and yelled, "Tire!" I figured it meant either Sash or Bean're got a flat tire.
Bean're really had to get going to make his commitments with The Legendary Buffalo Chip. I thanked him for staying with Sash until I got there.
By the time the tow truck driver finally got there, it was about 3:00PM. I wanted to continue on to Sturgis to get checked into our cabin at Sturgis RV Park before they decided to give it to someone else. Sash ended up getting towed to a indie motorcycle shop that had already been contacted by AAA, and was ready to go. They turned her around pretty quickly, and she finally met me at our cabin around 6:00 PM.
Another gal, Stephanie, was supposed to meet us at our cabin around 8:00 PM. She's on a cross-country trip with her 250cc Vespa by her lonesome, and we offered to let her stay at our cabin. She finally showed up around 9:00 PM. Check her out on her blog: http://250superhero.blogspot.com/
So, our first day at Sturgis wasn't much. For the most part, we hung out at the bar inside the Sturgis RV Park, took showers, and bought some food to fill up mini-fridge.
Day 2, however, looks to be a full day.
Here's photos from Day 1...
|Sash and I leaving our hotel in|
|Harley riders heading to|
Sturgis for the big shindig
|Where the Missouri River|
crosses the I-90
|Sash and Kevin Bean're pose at|
Badlands Truck Stop, Exit 152
|This finishing nail delayed Sash,|
but couldn't stop her
|Sash on the side of the road|
with flat tire
|I-90 gets more congested with|
bikes the closer to Sturgis
|My pulled pork sandwich at|
Sturgis RV Park
|Sash unloading her stuff at our|
cabin at Sturgis RV Park